The Twelve Principles that I Learned from the Twelve Tribes of Israel
Updated: Jan 12
According to the Hebrew Bible, Israel's tribes descended from Jacob, also called Israel, whose name comes from two Hebrew words, Yashar and El. Yashar means direct, and El means God; this expresses our direct connection to God. Jacob fathered twelve sons - Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin - and their progeny became the twelve tribes. Aside from its literal meaning, the text also contains a profound message that can lead us to self-discovery. These twelve sons represent twelve qualities of mind. We have the choice to discipline, develop, immerse in, and expand these qualities while our soul is on the material plane to become one with the universal consciousness.
Reuben,the first son. His name comes from the Hebrew word meaning to see. This quality requires openness to seeing the positive side of the universe, the world, nature, the present, humanity, and all living things and an ability to visualize the desired state in our mind's eye. This transformation is possible only if you have the will to hold this vision with faith, despite whatever difficulties arise in the present.
Simeon's name comes from the Hebrew root that means to hear. This quality demands that we actively listen to the good while avoiding negative gossip. If nurtured and developed, this quality can connect us with our soul, allowing us to recognize its inner voice and leading us to oneness with the divine consciousness.
Levi's name comes from the Hebrew root that means to join. As we become aware of our capability to join the universal consciousness, we feel enlightened and aware of our power to create our desired state.
Judah's name comes from the Hebrew root meaning praise. This quality requires us to tune in to the universe's abundance and give thanks for what we have. Gratitude for love, family, friends, food, our homes, a warm bed, senses, and much more enables us to be joyful and bring about even more pleasurable circumstances. Our lives will feel even more luxurious as we conquer our propensity to complain and praise God for small blessings. We will progress even more when we see that even the difficulties in life are for our advancement; hence, we start praising them too.
Dan's name comes from the Hebrew root meaning judgment. This quality demands that we judge our actions and decisions justly. By judging mercifully, compassionately, graciously, sympathetically, patiently, and generously, we raise ourselves to the divine consciousness.
Naphtali's name represents wrestling. Rachel named him for her conflicts with her sister Leah, the first to marry Jacob. We need this quality to help us withstand the struggles we face. When challenged, we must align with the divine consciousness and choose the side of righteousness. This is crucial for our inner growth.
Gad's name implies luck, success, and optimism. This quality signifies that luck, success, and happiness will follow if we think positively. Just as the creator is good, we will rise to the divine consciousness by cultivating optimism.
Asher's name is derived from the Hebrew root meaning happiness. This quality demands that we cultivate a state of joy. The creator, who is with all and in all, is a positive energy that wants us to lead a happy life. When we are in a state of happiness, we rise to become one with the divine state.
Issachar's name comes from the Hebrew root of reward or payment. This implies that every deed has a consequence. Likewise, every action or thought, virtuous or immoral, has repercussions. Acting noble will reap the rewards, while acting shamefully exacts a distressing price.
Zebulun's name means palace. A palace is beautiful, elegant, golden, gorgeous, marvelous, mighty, original, noble, luxurious, pleasant, royal, splendid, whole, and wonderful. Similarly, we must aim to build our body, mind, soul, and spirit as a palace to give rise to our consciousness. This quality demands that we honor our physical body, mind, and soul.
Joseph's name means to add. This quality requires us to raise our consciousness step by step. Oneness takes effort and is slowly achieved. Therefore, we must have the patienceto study these scriptures to attain divine consciousness thoroughly.
Benjamin's name refers to the right hand, which implies that we should strive to be the creator's right hand, leading by example so that others may join the path toward the divine consciousness.